By Sports Reporter/Doha
The 2018 Aspire Embassies Futsal Tournament concluded on Friday following a thrilling final between the teams representing the Embassy of Jordan and Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which ended in a 7-1 win for the former. A team representing the Embassy of Sudan fought hard to claim third-place after defeating Syria, 5-3.
Mohamed Murad from the team representing Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the tournament’s top goal-scorer, while Abdul Malek Bairoudi from the Syrian team won the best goalkeeper award.
The final matches and awards ceremony were attended by Amjad al-Mubaideen, Acting Chargé d’Affaires of Jordan in Qatar; Said al-Hajri, Assistant Director of the Protocol Department at Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Yankuba Ceesay, the Deputy Head of Mission at embassy of the Republic of The Gambia; Alieu Manjang, First Secretary at the embassy of the Republic of The Gambia; and Dr Mohamed Sirajul Islam, Counsellor (Labour) at the embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
Mohamed Mubarak al-Kuwari, Chief Marketing Officer and Director of the tournament from Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), along with other members of the organising committee including Abdullah Aman al-Khater, Director of Events and Venues of AZF, and Alanoud al-Misnad, Acting Head of Events, welcomed the visiting delegations.
The enthusiastic crowd played a big part in driving the teams on, loudly cheering their support for the players throughout both games.
“We’re happy for all 16 teams that participated in the second edition. The final matches were thrilling, the audience was in very good spirits and everyone who attended enjoyed a wonderful atmosphere. The main aim of this tournament was to give diplomats and representatives from the embassies an enjoyable experience outside of work and the chance to make the most of a fun and relaxing environment. We believe that we have achieved that, given the response and levels of participation. We plan to continue this tournament in the coming years and build on the feedback that we have received from the first two editions to make it even bigger and better,” al-Kuwari said.
Jordan embassy’s al-Mubaideen, expressing his strong support for the tournament, said, “The teams participating in this year’s event did a great job. Naturally, we’re very proud to win the title. It was a well-deserved victory since the team trained hard in the weeks leading up to it. Taking part in such a tournament is a great opportunity for embassy teams, and we thank our colleagues in Aspire Zone Foundation who were generous hosts, as well as those from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who played an important role in coordinating effectively between all the embassies.”
Al-Hajri from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “The Aspire Embassies Futsal Tournament has helped to solidify relationships between the country’s various embassies. The level of competition this year was very strong, and we’re happy to have finished the competition in second place. But we’re definitely looking forward to hopefully clinching next year’s title – a win that we would dedicate to Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.”
Ceesay of the Gambian embassy said, “We didn’t take part as an embassy team this year. But we came to the final to express solidarity with our colleagues and show our support for the tournament, because the idea is to bring the diplomatic community together – which is a very positive step. The matches were great to watch, and we thank Aspire Zone Foundation for their efforts and all those that played a part in organising this initiative.”
This year, the tournament featured 16 teams representing Algeria, Djibouti, Ethiopia, France, India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Syria and the United Kingdom, as well as a team from MoFA representing Qatar, and a team from AZF.
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